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David Cunliffe’s message resonates with National supporters: poll.

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Originally posted on [Insiders] :

It’s going from bad to undeniably catastrophic for Prime Minister John Key, with a fresh poll indicating more and more National voters are leaning to Labour leader David Cunliffe.

Last night’s ONE News poll for John Key was labeled “soul destroying” for National – but the Roy Morgan ‘worm poll’ results have blown it out of the park with David Cunliffe resonating positively with voters. 

Roy Morgan’s Worm poll results show John Key only resonated with Labour voters once throughout the entire debate, whereas David Cunliffe was preaching to the National-faithful constantly. 

John Key’s poll lifted when he reinforced his support for gay marriage, although this could have been unwise as Mr. Key has been gunning heavily for the conservative Pacific vote recently based on National’s so-called family values foundations. The Pacifica vote is usually Labour-assured, but some found themselves disillusioned with the party over changes to the definition of…

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The latest WhaleDump – The Hotchin Files

Originally posted on Trickle:

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Fairfax media is backing its horse no matter what

Originally posted on Left Side Story:

Every good story needs a hero and a villain, and the story of New Zealand politics according to Fairfax Media’s is no exception. Fairfax has a hero in John Key and a villain in David Cunliffe. Unfortunately for Stuff, Key and Cunliffe are not characters but people. John Key is not a hero but an all-too fallible human being. This becomes a problem for Stuff when their careful construction of each character begins to break down; when, for whatever reason, the public is able to glimpse for itself the reality of the people involved, without events being mediated through the propaganda machine that is the NZ mainstream media. This is what happened last night with the leader’s debate. Anyone who watched the debate would have seen a calm and reasonable Cunliffe debating with a rattled and sweaty Key. cannot let this stand, and must reinterpret the debate to…

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Pimping Key’s Government – and the NZ National Party

Is it time to call out the Rightwing propagandists lurking in New Zealand’s news media? 65267_257409244384249_1323944169_n

After excessively overstating the importance of their own Key-friendly rogue poll last week, this week has seen a barrage of propaganda from Fairfax Media, led as ever by their in-house National Party spin doctor, Tracy Watkins.

Watkins’ official role is political editor for Fairfax Media NZ, but a quick scan through her work will quickly quash any pretense of political neutrality, as her ongoing editorial love-in with John Key prevents her from applying any of those long lost journalistic standards; fairness, accuracy and balance.

Perhaps accompanying John Key on all those international trips has brainwashed her into being a true Key-believer, or maybe she is employed by Fairfax Media precisely for her willingness to abandon journalistic ethics and instead churn out endless column inches of National Party spin.  Whatever the reason, her output of propagandist puff-pieces on behalf of Key and co this week is simply a continuation of the work she’s done since long before this blog was established.

Two weeks ago, Watkins demonstrated her shameless National Party partisanship, by elevating beyond credibility the importance of their own questionable in-house polls, showing a rogue result in favour of her National Party buddies. She’s an absolute disgrace, and should declare her loyalty to John Key overtly, rather than posing as an independent journalist at New Zealand’s largest news corporation.

Meanwhile, her colleague Vernon Small took aim at the Labour Party conference, with a list of every marginally radical topic that might be discussed. Fair enough angle, I suppose, if you want to stir up a bit of fear-mongering among your uninformed reactionary readership, but not exactly fair, accurate or balanced.  Imagine if opened their coverage of a National Party conference with a subjective list of every crazy, unelectable, hard right idea that might get chucked around there – never going to happen.

This week, Fairfax followed up by leading their political “news” day after day with glowing testaments to the strong relationships and dynamics within the National Party.  “John Key – living the dream”, “Key credits team for National’s success”, “Chemistry bonds ex-political rivals” asserted the headlines, in blatantly spin-driven puff-pieces that could have been written by Crosby-Textor, and in many ways probably were.

As I have always maintained on this page, Fairfax Media have every right to act as a public relations service for the political Right in New Zealand.  But, instead of attempting to manipulate their readers by posing as an independent news media corporation, it is essential for our democracy that they state, once and for all, exactly where their partisanship lies.  This is obviously clear to informed New Zealanders, but readers of are generally – by design – lacking in balanced political understanding.

Come on Fairfax!  Declare your hand, so that New Zealanders can make an informed choice about where they source their political information.  If we wanted National Party spin, surely we would simply visit the National Party website instead.

There have been calls for a targeted blitz on Twitter, to out the most heavily-biased journalists in New Zealand’s news media.  It’s a call that is gathering momentum, and, unless journalists and media outlets declare their bias in no uncertain terms very soon, I believe this will be the obvious next step in combating what is clearly an assault on our democracy by powerful Righwing organisations.

To find out more about any of this, or to simply register your dissatisfaction with the current situation, please join us on Facebook , share with your friends, and boycott Fairfax publications such as The Dominion Post and Sunday Star Times.

Thanks for your interest.

Is John Key writing for Fairfax? responds to Key’s poll woes with barrage of National Party spin.  johnkey

Readers might be forgiven for thinking a story published under the headline “Labour surges in latest poll” might actually include some comment from the Labour Party.

But, not at Fairfax.

It appears that, as they are now unable to ignore polls pointing to their boy John Key’s demise, Fairfax Media have come out swinging on behalf of their chums in the National Party.

The result is simply not a news story; from beginning to end it’s a summary of the National Party’s propaganda, disguised as journalism.

Aside from the sheer ridiculousness of John Key preaching “morals”, Fairfax publish without question his twisted analysis of the political spectrum.  Key’s repeated claims that the most dictatorial Right-wing Government in New Zealand’s history, are actually  “Centre-Right”, while the Opposition are “far-Left”, are published as gospel , without any response or comment from the Labour Party.  This perhaps tells us as much about Fairfax’s political stance as it does about the National Party’s.

It is of course Fairfax Media’s prerogative to act as a mouthpiece for the National-led Government, despite the dangerous implications of such abject contempt for democracy within New Zealand’s largest media corporation.  They do however, at least owe their readers and subscribers a level of openness, and should declare overtly their political partisanship so that Kiwi voters can make an informed choice about where they source their political information.

As Fairfax clearly have no intention of being honest with their readers about their relationship with the National Party, it is left up to informed New Zealanders like you to spread the word.  If you are sick and tired of Fairfax Media abusing their privileged position to publish National Party propaganda dressed up as independent news, please share this piece, join us on Facebook , avoid and boycott all Fairfax publications.

Key’s walkout is news in Moscow but not Wellington

PM’s press conference tantie makes Russian Times but not Dom Post, as Fairfax avoid latest poll’s bad news for Nats.john-Key-press-AAP-1200

John Key’s dramatic exit from a press conference yesterday may have gone viral, but it seems those closest to the action were keeping ominously quiet.

The footage, which was quickly picked up by TVNZ, 3News, and now the Russian Times, went completely unreported by and the Dominion Post newspaper. Interesting, since the footage actually shows Fairfax political editor and unofficial National Party spin doctor Tracy Watkins sitting right in front of the Prime Minister, scratching at her pad and pretending not to notice as Key spits the proverbial dummy and makes a hurried exit stage left.

John Key was clearly amped and well prepared for his showdown on Campbell Live last week, shutting down John Cambell’s questions and going on the offensive to defend the GCSB bill.  But yesterday’s footage shows what happens when the increasingly under pressure Prime Minister hasn’t had three days of intensive media training just before a difficult question.

Meanwhile, it seems that Fairfax have also elected not to mention the latest Roy Morgan polls, which show a sudden drop in National’s support as the GCSB bill is debated, and forecasts a change of government.  Having convinced many New Zealanders not to even bother voting in the last general election because polls showed National would romp home, it appears that Fairfax Media would prefer to keep quiet about the latest poll, which shows their team taking a seven point drop and being overtaken by a Labour, Greens coalition.

Interesting that couldn’t publish the results fast enough just three weeks ago, when the previous Roy Morgan poll showed their National Party chums on 51 percent support;  “Labour’s support slumps”, read Stuff’s headline in July.

Now, less than a month later, the news of a dramatic swing to the opposition is greeted by Orwellian tumbleweeds at Fairfax.

Apparently there has been some serious soul searching at Fairfax NZ recently, as the media corporation look to end the exodus of subscribers and restore credibility as a reliable news source.  Blatantly partisan political coverage like this won’t be helping their cause.

To help ramp up the pressure on this unbalanced, anti-democratic news corporation, please join us on Facebook and share with your friends.  Also, please boycott Fairfax publications, cancel your subscriptions and avoid

The people of New Zealand deserve a news media with our interests at heart in these difficult and controversial times, not simply a mouthpiece for an out-of-control rightwing Prime Minister.

Fairfax bans reporters from covering inequality

9781927131510-crop-325x325Editorial staff banned from writing about visiting London School of Economics Professor Robert Wade. and Dominion Post publishers Fairfax Media have barred their reporters from covering lectures on inequality by visiting London School of Economics Professor Robert Wade.

News staff were told early last week not to cover Wade’s visit, and to ignore press releases relating to it.

In fact, the only information a search of Robert Wade turns up on, is Deputy Prime Minister Bill English defending himself in The Southland Times after threatening Professor Wade after a TVNZ Q&A appearance, and English’s “rebuke” from The Dominion Post.

Orwellian denial is nothing new at Fairfax – this blog has outlined their history of ignoring academic research in favor of populist National Party “solutions” – and it’s a moot point whether they are formally working to support Government propaganda, or simply have a common alignment of Rightwing dogma.  But, it certainly speaks volumes that, immediately after Bill English bullied Professor Wade with the threat; “Don’t you say that again!”, Fairfax told their reporters not to give him any coverage.

Professor Wade is in New Zealand for the launch of Max Rashbrooke’s book “Inequality: A New Zealand Crisis”, which he contributed to. In a series of lectures and media appearances, he has noted that New Zealand has seen significant increases in inequality in the last 20 years, at a greater level than in other Western nations.

This has clearly touched a nerve, angering those defending the status quo, and bringing out the bully boys on the Right. Deputy Prime Minister Bill English wagged his finger threateningly at Professor Wade after a TV appearance, essentially warning him not to report on his research.  And, as blogger Martyn Bradbury points out, inequality may well be the big issue of next year’s election, so it’s little wonder the National Party and their media allies are trying to shut down Professor Wade’s research and Rashbrooke’s explosive book.

Warning their reporters not to write about Professor Wade points to a chilling and sinister level of public manipulation from New Zealand’s largest news media publisher, and confirms what this blog has asserted for many years – that Fairfax are putting Rightwing propaganda ahead of genuine news, and attempting to pervert the fragile state of New Zealand’s ailing democracy.

Just this week, The Dominion Post avoided talking about allegations that energy minister Simon Bridges misled parliament, reporting only on the giant billboard that Greenpeace had posted near Fairfax’s Wellington office, after other media had covered it.  They then named Greenpeace as ‘Wally of the week’ for spending valuable funds on the billboard.  Perhaps, if newspapers did the job their subscribers paid them to do, it wouldn’t be left to charity organisations to hold a corrupt Government to account.

If you are sick of New Zealand being fed one-sided propaganda by this Orwellian media organisation, please join us on facebook,  boycott Fairfax publications, and avoid


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